Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
service and we only look at the Torah in the Ark. Today, though, we
took it out and showed it around. We touched our prayer books to the
Scroll and then kissed them. Then the rabbi undressed the Torah, and
prepared to read today's Torah portion. He told us that he had planned
to read the section with the burning bush, but changed his mind. We
heard the beginning of the book of Exodus, instead. He also told us
that it's part of the tradition to have somebody read along in a
Chumash, just to make sure that the pronounciation is correct. He
encouraged the Hebrew readers to call out corrections, if necessary.
Sent from my iPhone
Thursday, December 27, 2007
been keeping up with my studies, either. Or going to class
consistently. This is what happens when you try to jam-pack Hanukkah
and Christmas and flu season into one month...and you work in retail.
I promise to be better when I'm 27.
I had planned posts on a couple classes dating back to November, as
well as on Jews who make me laugh, like Alex Borstein and Zach Braff.
Look for information on great books, too. I'll let you know when I get
around to reading any...
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I had to work until 10:30 tonight, so I lit my Hanukkah candles late, but I did manage to do it for the first time.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The Chutzpah Chronicles on Faithbook compare Thanksgiving to Shabbat. She says that the way most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving is similar to how she saw Shabbat celebrated in Jerusalem.
These are good to know, particularly the faithbook link. I may not have the time to celebrate Shabbat completely now, but it's helpful to have a picture of how God might have intended us to observe the day.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I ordered my cards today. My inspiration for the image was a kind of deconstructed hanukkiah, with nine candles arranged in more or less a straight line.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
But I'll continue.
I was standing in line at the grocery store, waiting to buy my dinner. There was a guy in front of me, buying some deli food. His food stamps card didn't have enough money; there was a balance of $1.62. He asked his buddy for money, and the guy started cursing at him. I quietly handed the cashier the $10 I was going to use to pay for my food, and told the cursing guy to be quiet, because it was taken care of.
The guy who was buying the food turned to me, and looked kind of shocked. He asked if I had paid, and I said yes. He didn't say thanks.
I knew I did the right thing, though. When I paid for my food, I had the exact change I needed. I smiled while I walked the rest of the way to work. It felt good.
- mouthing the words of the text
- pronouncing these distinctly
- understanding the text and using discernment
- studying in a spirit of awe, reverence, humility and good cheer
- ministering to the wise
- having good fellow students
- arguing with students
- serenity of mind
- having a knowledge of Scripture and Mishnah
- engaging in moderation in business, in worldly matters, in pleasures, in sleep, in conversation, in laughter
- having patience
- being good-natured
- having confidence in the wise
- tolerating one's suffering
- recognizing one's place
- rejoicing in one's lot
- caution in speech
- claiming no credit for achievement
- being a lovable person
- loving God and all His creatures
- loving righteousness
- straight dealing and rebuke
- keeping aloof from fame
- having no pride in one's learning
- having no personal pleasure in rendering decisions
- bearing the yoke with one's companions and judging them favorably and helping them in their pursuit of truth and peace
- being composed in study
- asking questions and attempting to provide solutions
- listening and then adding to the information imparted
- studying in order to teach and to practice
- making one's teacher wise
- attending carefully to what he says
- repeating a teaching in the name of its author, giving the author the credit that is due
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Interestingly, these are also values that my mother shares.
My middle name is a very strong family name, on both my mom's and my dad's side. It was my paternal grandmother's real first name, and it was my maternal grandmother's original middle name. It was also my maternal great-grandmother's name.
As for my first name, it has the same meaning as my father's: Victory.
This gets interesting, because my mom told me that she originally chose it because she thought it was pretty and didn't know the meaning behind it. It gets really interesting when you consider that she's one of the most competitive women in the entire world, and the names of her husband and oldest daughter reflect her love of winning.
The reason I'm writing this is because she just sent me a card. I've been having a difficult time with people at work, and she wanted to encourage me. She chose to do so by writing out the meanings of my names and telling me that she's "just learned that we are to walk in our name sake." Then she writes that my first name is victory and courage, and my middle name is noble and kind, and that I should just be who I am, and everything will be okay.
I don't think she even knows how Jewish that card is. I wouldn't have known until recently. This just might be easier and more organic than I thought.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
They then encountered a problem. After Hagar became pregnant, Sarai felt that Hagar no longer respected her.
This is where the lesson came in. Instead of teaching us the story, the Rabbi wanted us to discuss honor, and what it means to honor someone. And he wanted to talk about the opposite of honor, because that is what Hagar did to Sarai.
Firstly, the word for honor that was used in the Hebrew text, translated literally, means "to give weight to". The word used in this story was "to make lighter". There's a bit of room for interpretation as to what exactly that means. In fact, everybody who shared their ideas had a slightly different opinion.
The Rabbi also told us that he found it interesting that the Bible says to "love your neighbors", but does not say the same about your parents. We are supposed to "honor" them, with honor being from the same Hebrew root.
I think this means that God knows that you will have disagreements with your parents (or your masters, if you're a maid), and they will do things and say things that will make you not love them (hopefully only temporarily). Even so, you must be able to respect them because of their positions.
This got us into talking a bit about politics, because similar logic should apply to political leaders. The Rabbi asked, if George W. Bush were to walk through the door, would you shake his hand? He argued that most people would, although most present disagreed. The Rabbi asked about other figures. That brought us from Sarai to Sarah Palin. Most of us would shake hers.
EDIT: For those who are sent her by Google and want to know Sarah Palin's religion, she says she's Protestant.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
This is not a book assigned by my Rabbi, but it is a book about a Jewish theme. It's a work of historical fiction; an attempt to flesh out a marginalized character. As such, I do not know how very accurate it is, other than that I could find no obvious inconsistency with the Biblical accounts.
That said, I really liked this Zipporah.. She was wise, passionate and firey, just as I would expect the wife of a great, though insecure, man to be. The author emphasized that Moses was not raised Jewish by having Zipporah act as his teacher. She served to boost his confidence in the face of the difficult task God put in front of him. This, I liked and felt might well have been authentic.
The author contended that Moses had only one wife, and that the reference to the Cushite wife of Moses was literal. Since we know from the Bible that Jethro was Zipporah's father, and that he was a Hebrew, the author wrote that Zipporah was rescued and adopted by Jethro. This makes Zipporah a convert, and I kind of like that (being a convert myself).
There were also some things that I didn't believe.. The author solved the problem of Moses not choosing one of his sons to be the next leader by killing them off in the chaos that followed Moses' discovery of the Golden Calf. I just felt like that would have been included in the Biblical account of that story. I had the same issue with the murder of Zipporah. It seemed too sensational and contrived, and also like something that would have been recorded.
As I continue my studies, I may form a different opinion, but for now, I liked it.